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PFF: Chiefs LB Justin Houston was best player on defense vs. Cardinals

Each week, Pro Football Focus shares some notes from the Kansas City Chiefs’ previous game as part of something it calls PFF Insights. This week, the Chiefs are coming off a 26-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Pro Football Focus has noted in the past how good Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is when he has a clean pocket, but this week, it cited how good he is when he faces pressure, like he did against the Cardinals.

PFF: Mahomes was the highest graded Chiefs player (85.9) in their win over the Cardinals, handling the Cardinals blitz extremely well, going 7 of 10 for 88 yards and a touchdown on 11 drop-backs. Mahomes is having an excellent season overall, but performing really well when the Chiefs call for play action, as his 1,066 yards on play-action passes are second-most in the NFL, trailing only Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who has 1,435 yards on play action passes.

After missing four games due to a hamstring, linebacker Justin Houston was the highest-graded Chiefs defensive player (88.1) in his return.

PFF: Houston played 49 defensive snaps, with 26 of them rushing the passer. Houston got pressure on Josh Rosen on five of his pass-rushing snaps, including two hits and three quarterback hurries.

PFF added Houston’s Week 10 grade was the third highest among edge rushers across the National Football League. Perhaps finally, Houston is 100 percent healthy.

Other Chiefs notes from PFF for Week 10

  • Mahomes had a perfect passer rating when he targeted wide receiver Tyreek Hill, which he did nine times. Hill made seven catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. PFF says Hill’s 2.58 yards per route run is the sixth highest in the NFL among receivers who have been targeted at least 20 times this season.
  • While Houston was good rushing the passer, so was Dee Ford once again. Ford had eight total pressures on the day against the Cardinals (one sack, three quarterback hits and four quarterback hurries).

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